A blog dedicated to the New York Mets with some other baseball thrown in.

Saturday, December 18, 2004

In the Weeds

Multiple baseball people, both inside and outside the Mets organization, believe the team will be a serious player for the 27-year-old center fielder whose auction has yet to really begin.

Omar, hop on the first plane to Puerto Rico. Omar can really make my Christmas with that signing. As much as I think the Mets are a long shot, I think Omar is going to make a good run at it and give it chance. Anyone think the Johnson deal precludes the Yankees from snagging Beltran? They will have to give him a two year extension for the same $16 mill per year most likely for him to waive his no trade clause and then the Yankees still have to buyout Jason Giambi and replace him with a lower cost option. Not only that, from what I understand they have to foot some of Javier Vazquez's bill. I know they have deep pockets, but adding another $15 to $16 million would be nuts. Steinbrenner and Boras have scheduled a face to face sit down next week and we all know where Boras wants his client to go. Steinbrenner has done him favors in the past like signing Travis Lee when no one else wanted him. Unfortunately the most greedy agent and the owner with the deepest pockets have a good relationship.

* * *

  • Some interesting Pedro quotes from this SI article.

    "I told [Henry], 'You want to sign me, get it done. Please force them to get it done. I'm willing to stay here. Negotiate with them. I just don't want to be under Schilling," Martinez said.

    "Schilling is 38, I'm only 33," he said. "The fact that I had an off-year doesn't mean that I can be below Schilling. Still, with an off-year, I'm way over Schilling as a pitcher and I've pitched pretty much like Schilling the last few years, if you're going to talk about durability."

    I hope he is gone," Martinez said of Varitek. "I hope 'Tek is on my team."

    Asked whether that meant he wanted to get rid of current Mets catcher Mike Piazza, Martinez said, "I do want Piazza, too. Piazza is a good hitter. We can move him to first or somewhere. ... I want 'Tek. 'Tek is a good player, a good catcher."

    "Theo got really arrogant on Fernando and I didn't appreciate it," Martinez said. "Theo believed that he had me and wasn't the nicest man communicating with Fernando."

    He said Red Sox manager Terry Francona played a small role in managing the team, taking his cues from the team's front office.

    "Francona is subject to what they decide," Martinez said. "Francona had no say, like he didn't have any say in managing the team. He was manipulated from upstairs."

    Asked for evidence to back that assertion, he said, "I was in the clubhouse, that's how I know."

  • Some interesting trade options for Sammy Sosa are thrown out by Phil Rogers. I do not think any of the deals but the first have been truly on the table, but Baltimore and Kansas City have been rumored to be interested and Baltimore seems to be heating up on the idea of bringing in Sosa.

    Sosa to the Mets for Cliff Floyd
    Heard about this one a million times and I still do not like it.

    Sosa to Baltimore for Jay Gibbons and Jorge Julio

    Sosa to the Yankees for Kevin Brown
    I hope this goes down because it means the Spanks did not get Beltran.

    Sosa to Kansas City in a three-way deal that sends Mike Sweeney to the Mets and Floyd to the Cubs
    I've always been a Mike Sweeney fan and he's a career .305 hitter with a good OBP%, but for a little more money you can get a healthier Carlos Delgado who is only a year older. Not only that, due to injuries and lack of a great glove at first, he's racked up 522 at-bats as a DH to 748 at bats as a first baseman. They get rid up one injury riddled player for another one. Sweeney is also one guy that has played less game than Cliff Floyd over the past three years and that is a scary thought.

  • Clement is due to ink with the Red Sox for a three year $25.5 million dollar contract. That price seems about right to me and did Clement ever pick a tough park and tough division to join. He's got some big shoes to fill but I think he can have some success there.

  • The Randy Johnson deal is now includes Shawn Green, Brad Penny, Yhency Brazoban and prospect Brandon Weeden going from L.A. to Arizona; Javier Vazquez and two Yankee prospects (Dioner Navarro and Eric Duncan) going from the Bronx to the Dodgers; and the Big Unit along with L.A. lefthander Kaz Ishii coming to New York. Can someone tell me how Kaz Ishii was just thrown in here? The deal was done before he was tossed in for shits and giggles. What is going on in LA? They now lose three pitchers and get one back and deal their left handed power stick. Are they going to rebuild at this point? That is the only thing I can think of. This trade makes little sense for them as they have less offense and less pitching than they had last year. Between Green and Beltre they are losing a little less than 80 homers and about 200 RBIs. Throw into the mix Finley is not coming back and LoDucca was already dumped. Jeff Kent must be really happy with this one. Unless the plan to make a run at Delgado, Drew, Sosa, Milton, etc. they will be sunk.

    Ishii is due $3.2M in 2005, with a team option $3.3M or $1.1M buyout in 2006 and a team option $4.0M or $1.1M buyout in 2007. Ishii had a 4.71 ERA last season and had a horrible Leiter-like 1.01 K/BB ratio. He also likes to give up the long ball and has never pitched over 172.0 innings in a season. I guess the Yankees are set to move Kevin Brown or they are set to move Ishii along.

  • Friday, December 17, 2004

    "Everything is a possibility"

    Pedro Martinez had one of the best seven year runs out of any pitcher in Major League history. In 1997 though 2003 he put up the following numbers:

    118 - 36 record
    6.4 H/9
    13.3 homers allowed per season average
    2.01 BB/9
    11.26 K/9
    5.59 K/BB
    2.20 ERA
    3 times a sub .200 BAA and 6 times sub .217 BAA

    Pedro is a first ballot Hall of Famer who was coming off an unprecedented seven year run that in this era of the long ball. Every single number is jaw dropping if it was for one year, but to do it over a seven year span is incomprehensible. I think it is safe to say we may never see that type of domination again at the rate that this game is going with balls leaving the ever shrinking ball parks at an alarming rate. Did Pedro experience a drop off in 2004? Eventually that was going to happen. Pedro could not sustain his crazy K/9 ratios that he posted of 13.20, 11.78, 12.57 and 10.79 in consecutive years. He's never started more than 33 games a season and matched that season high in 2004. His K/9 was only down 1 K/9 off his career average, his BB/9 was only .12 higher than his career average, and his K/BB was down .59 off his career average. He did give up 26 homeruns, but also did so in 1998 and gave up 21 in 1995 (Randy Johnson's career high is 30 allowed and topped 20 seven times). Out of the eleven years he's been a starting pitcher, he's posted a K/9 over 10.00 five times a sub 10.00 six times so the fact he has posted below a 10.00 does not alarm me in any way.

    Of course Pedro is on a downturn in his career, but Pedro is still a dominating force. He was the most dominating player on the planet over those seven years so now he is downgraded from best pitcher on the planet to one of the top five pitchers in the National League and the top pitcher in the NL East. Martinez's declining numbers will still put all but a handful pitchers behind him and the Mets finally have an ace. Everyday I like this more and more.

    If you are going to try and tell me Hudson is the best pitcher in the NL East, you could certainly argue that point. But his K/9 has went from a career high in 1999 of 8.71 to a career low 4.91 (Pedro's was almost double) in 2004. His K/BB is a decent 2.34 (Pedro's was 1.38 higher) and his BAA against since 2001 is .245, .263, .223, and .267 (Pedro's was .238, .198, .215, and .238). His H/9 in 2004 was 9.3 and on his career he has a 8.2 mark (Pedro's was 8 in 2004 and his career is 6.8). Tim Hudson is one of today's premier pitchers and one of my most favorite to watch, but he's still not Pedro Martinez. Even Pedro's worst year compares favorably with Tim Hudson's career average. Hudson helps the Braves for sure, but he will not be the equalizer.

    Beyond the numbers Pedro energizes the organization. So much so there are rumblings or Carlos Beltran.

    "Everything is a possibility," one high-ranking Mets official insisted yesterday.

    According to the article, the Mets plan to lay low until the end and try and snatch him up if the price is right and Omar may just feel emboldened enough to try and make it his best shot.

    * * *

  • This was a classic excerpt from Pedro's press conference yesterday..this is not verbatim, but you get the idea.

    Reporter: Pedro you started 33 games last year which tied a career high, and yet all this talk has was centered on your shoulder. Why do you think that is?

    Pedro: Because of the crap that you guys speak..next question.

    If you have not listened to them, you should. Pedro and Omar did a great job and you can listen to them at MetsBlog.com or MetsDaily.com both of whom do a tremendous job getting these audio clips up so quickly.

  • The Angels added Morales to their 40-man roster and designated right-hander Bobby Jenks for assignment. Jenks, the Angels' fifth-round pick in 2000, only made three appearances for Triple-A Salt Lake last year before being shut down in June with elbow problems.

    Hmm....worth a shot for sure. This guy can toss it into the 100s with regularity.

  • Jim Dolan and Cablesvision's petty dispute was denied.

  • I'm not going to comment on the Big Unit until that deal is done.
  • Thursday, December 16, 2004

    Arms Race

    The Mets had the best pitcher in the NL East for about six hours. The Braves have traded for Tim Hudson and only gave up Charles Thomas, Dan Meyer, and Juan Cruz in return.

    Thomas went .288/.368/.455 with 7 homers and 31 RBIs in 83 games in his first major league season and is only 25 years old though not that highly regarded as a impact player in the future. Dan Meyer, who was rated the Braves 4th best prospect prior to the 2004 season by Baseball America, was the Braves top left handed pitching prospect. Meyer was taken in the first round of the 2002 draft and posted a 2.79 ERA in AA with a 3-3 record in 2004. He's struck out over a batter per inning for his entire career in the minors and pitched in two major league games totalling two innings against the Mets as a September call up. Juan Cruz has not lived up to his expectations so far as he is known for having very live arm. He seemed to adjust to the pen in 2004 with the Braves.

    Overall, for what the Braves got and the teams to be rumored in having interest, it's hard to believe this was the best deal. The Braves get Tim Hudson who is one of the best pitchers in the majors. Not only that, smart money is on him to be the best hitting pitcher in the National League as well. In 1997 he made the All-American team as a DH by hitting .396/.430/.670 with 18 homers and 95 RBIs with the Auburn Tigers. A great pickup by the Braves and bad day for the Mets and to add insult to injury they do it on the day we announce Pedro. UNREAL!!

    But the Braves still have question marks at both corner outfield spots and have questions as to how much they can rely on John Smoltz's arm as he returns to the rotation. Looks like the Braves are priming themselves to still be the team to beat.

    Beltre to the Mariners

    They needed to add punch and I'd have to say adding Richie Sexson and Adrian Beltre would qualify as adding punch.

    Rebuild or Retool

    Rebuilding is when a team basically completely reforms their team, dumps their veterans and goes with a complete youth movement.

    Retooling is when the team acquires a few vital pieces and infuses them with their current pieces in place.

    Should the Mets rebuild a-la Cleveland Indians? Or should the Mets retool in the sense that the Braves do every year? Yes, I know the Braves have not been horrible like the Mets the past three seasons, but you get the idea.

    (Obviously I wrote this before Pedro signed and it lost some relevance, but it basically backs up Omar's current move)

    One major flaw with the Mets rebuilding is the unholy length of time it will take them to completely rebuild. They have a decent farm system, but one that will not break the top ten in terms of farm systems. When a team tries to rebuild, they jettison their veterans and guys who figure to not be around off to other teams in hopes of bringing some building blocks and future cornerstones back in the process.

    Enter, the Mets first problem. If they were even able to move Traschel, Piazza, Floyd, and Glavine, who would be the likely candidates to leave in this rebuilding scenario, that would not get back one single solitary top prospect or one top player. No Casey Kotchman, no Adrian Gonzalez, no Mark Teixiera, nothing significant or anyone else of that caliber. Nobody is desperate enough or willing enough at this point. If the Mets did start off that process by lopping off the aging veterans, they’d have just about nothing to show for it. If Omar could have pulled one of those moves, they’d have done it already.

    The other major portion of the rebuilding process is to have a top tier farm system from top to bottom with some young guys at the Major League level who they can be infused with.

    Enter the Mets second problem. The Mets have Diaz, Reyes, and Wright who are certainly good blocks to build around, but they traded Kazmir, Peterson, and Huber for two guys that don’t fit into the rebuilding process. I’m going to consider Diaz part of the minor league system rather than the Major League squad, which may turn out to be entirely true. The Mets only have Victor Diaz and Bobby Keppel at AAA with good Major League predictability. Sure Mike Jacobs may be on the fringe, but he’s not considered a Major League quality catcher and has not actually played enough at AAA to get a good look at him. There is Craig Brazell, but he’s not really a serious prospect to build around or even someone that may start in the Majors ever. Beyond that there is Aarom Baldiris in AA with Yusmeiro Petit. Humber and Soler may start at AA or high A, but pitching is not something that comes to fruition quickly. Cleveland had Westbrook and Sabathia already established and got Cliff Lee via a trade. So not only would the Mets top pitching talents not be ready for another year, they would most likely take another few years to even become effective. Ben Sheets, Johan Santana, Josh Beckett, AJ Burnett, etc. took a few years to become a force and it could be disastrous for the Mets to put their pitching hopes soley in house. You can say look outside like Santana and Sheets when they become available, but why would a premium pitcher come during a rebuilding process? All other top tier prospects for the Mets have not played a lick over A ball and Lastings Milledge, Ian Bladergroen, and Shawn Bowman will open the season in high A ball. The Mets have few guys that could be considered impact prospects, but only two of them are above AA and I’m sure a lot of experts would argue with me by lumping Victor Diaz into the impact prospect category.

    If the Mets rebuild, there may not be a good team at Shea for five or six years at best. It would get really ugly with the Mets finishing below the Nationals for a long time. That is also assuming the Mets have a few really good drafts between now and then and that may not happen. If the entire process went well, by the time Mets are any good Reyes and Wright will have burned through their option years and may be looking to escape. Concepcion, Hernandez, Hyde, Bladergroen, Durkin, and Bowman are at LEAST three years away and Milledge is at least two years away and that is assuming they all pan out too. By the law of averages, the Mets would be lucky to get two solid major leaguers out of the bunch.

    The Mets lack the means to completely rebuild at this point. Any of the players that fit the mold of what the Mets are trying to accomplish like Teixiera, Gonzalez, Jeremy Reed, etc. are guys the Mets would only be able to acquire by giving up some of their youth to get them. How counter productive would it be to rebuild by acquiring a guy who is in the majors now by giving up two or three of the prospects you plan to rebuild with. Even if you take on some ugly contracts to sweeten the deal, youth will still need to be included from the Mets end. Getting a guy like Teixiera or Gonzalez works for the Mets, but only if you plan to retool and infuse them in with impact players now.

    The Mets do not have the ability to do an out rebuilding process in any shape or form. They cannot get young and effective talent for their veterans and they do not have a deep system and they have a dearth of impact prospects. Coming into this year, they were only rated so high because they have a number of impact guys in their system. Kaz was considered in that bunch as was Kazmir, Peterson, Wright, and Huber. Right now, the Mets system, while not barren, is a lot weaker than it has been in the past two years. To start the 2005 season, the Mets could only put one capable player on the field at Shea from their system. That guy is Victor Diaz. If you want to project to 2006, the Mets may only be able to add one or maybe two more capable guys on the field. That is not a rebuilding process. That is what the Pittsburgh Pirates have been trying to do for the last 11 years.

    The Mets current hope of building a sustain winner is through adding free agents to make the team better now while not blocking any of their young guys in the future. They will accomplish that as OF and 1B are weak at the top and they need to rack up some wins in the next few years without trading away their farm system as us Met fans have become so used to seeing. I know the Mets sacrificed draft picks this year, but I think that was a necessary evil as part of this process. I know people will disagree, but I think getting Pedro helps put the Mets on this road of improving now and down the road.

    * * *

  • Richie Sexson can thank the Diamondbacks for his 4 year $50 million dollar deal.

  • Now that the Red Sox have signed Edgar Renteria, Derek Jeter is not only not the best shortstop on team, but he is the 3rd best shortstop in the AL East. That is before BJ Upton figures it out and over takes him too.

  • Oh, Boy.

    Shez Jackson was ordered to clean dirty utensils and stock a pantry with cereal despite holding a master's degree and earning $85,500, her lawyer, Jack Tuckner, said yesterday.

    "These white bosses, the power structure, don't acknowledge women in the highest levels of the organization, especially black women," Tuckner said. "It was like, give it to a colored woman to clean up."

    Jackson, 37, is suing the Mets, the team's chief operating officer, Jeff Wilpon, and its general counsel, David Cohen, for unspecified monetary damages.

    I hate when this happens:

    Another time, Cohen allegedly called Jackson at 9 a.m. and "scolded her because there was not enough cereal in the pantry," the complaint states. Jackson bought cereal containers, but Cohen complained "the containers 'poured out only one or two Cheerios at a time."

    Who knows if it's true or not, but Jeffy seems like he has some anger issues.

  • The Mets are prepared to go for the fourth year on Carlos Delgado for about $48 million dollars. I think that became obvious after Sexson's and Glaus' contracts. I think the Mets will eventually ink Delgado and then lock up Alou. As much as we want them to make a run at Beltran, I do not think they will. Sucks not to give it a shot, but I do not see them waiting around for Beltran the first week of January and losing out on Delgado.

  • According to Newsday, the Mets aren't the only ones who are insane. The Cardinals also offered Pedro a four year deal so they were not bidding against themselves and Boston alone.

  • Shaun Powell says the Mets need to something bigger. Pedro was the first step and Beltran or at the very least it should be Manny.

  • The Astros are prepared to up the ante significantly over five years for $70 million. Boras also said this is a not a two team race and there are four teams interested. I hope Omar is at least sticking his nose in there.
  • Done Deal

    Pedro will finally be a Met on Thursday. Strangely enough, every second that goes by, I like the deal further.

    Wednesday, December 15, 2004

    Do Your Research

    Put Ian O'Conner on the list of Pedro bashers that fail to back up his point with his article titled Desperate Mets put misguided faith in Pedro. It should have been titled Desperate Writer Has No Idea What He's Talking About.

    You can have your opinions, that's fine. You can not like the deal, it may end up being bad. But when you spout out things that are false, then it irks me.

    The ace is 33, with a reported tear in his labrum and with a fastball that's lost some bite. This isn't the Pedro who blew away that murderers' row of muscleheads at the Fenway All-Star Game. This is the Pedro with a hard 100-pitch ceiling, a Pedro who needs to flee the Yankees and that ERA-busting DH rule for a steady diet of free National League outs, a pitcher-friendly ballpark, and a cushy retirement plan.

    Let's see just how hard Pedro's 100 pitch ceiling is.

    He only pitched seven games under 100 pitches and pitched no less than 100 in July and August entirely. So out 33 games started, he managed to top the 100 mark 26 times. He topped 110 pitches 13 times (115, 111, 113, 115, 113, 110, 115, 111, 110, 117, 117, 113, and 117) which is almost double the games he failed to top 100. He maintained a .244/.279/.341 against opponents when he was between 106 and 120 pitches so it does not appear he is overmatched when his totals jump up.

    To boot, he still had enough gas to pitch 116, 113, and 111 pitches in his first three games of the playoffs. He then pitched 20 in an ill advised relief performance and topped the season off with 98 pitches in the World Series in seven innings while giving up only three hits.

    So out of 37 games started for the entire season he managed to top 110 in 43%. Keep up the good reporting and don't let a little thing called research get in your way.

    Now can we put this to bed please? If you want to say he can't pitch on short rest, fine, I'll agree. That has actual facts to back it up. However, when trying to bash the deal, do not make stuff up to prove a point.

    But in the end it comes down to this, why must people who are Yankee fans write about the Mets? Check this quote:

    Martinez walked away from an indelible championship club, and an April ring ceremony for the ages, to join a lousy team holding second-class citizenship papers in New York.

    C'mon, just a dumb article all around. It is amazing why these guys get paid to do their job.


    With the Mets four year $50 million+ deal, they have now become the poster child of crazy. People think that is as close to a definition of insanity in baseball as we have witnessed since the Mike Hampton contract?. Well, let's take a look at that.

    2001: $8.0M (+$20.0M signing bonus deferred until end of contract)
    2002: $8.5M
    2003: $11.0M [ATL $2.0M / FLA $9.0M]
    2004: $12.0M [ATL $2.0M / FLA $10.0M]
    2005: $12.5M [ATL $1.5M / FLA $11.0M]
    2006: $13.5M
    2007: $14.5M
    2008: $15.0M
    2009: Team option $20.0M or $6.0M buyout

    This signing was coming from a team who's average payroll since 2001 ($66,218,052.75) is only 60% higher than the Mets current revenue from their radio and TV deals alone. This is not even comparable and such a notion is stupidity in itself as the Mets are in the biggest media market in the world. The Mets are no small market team who cannot afford this. In fact they can afford a bad contract if push comes to shove. Is this the optimal move? Would trading for Hudson and giving him the same deal have been better? I think we all know the answers but we also know the Mets are not the Yankees, Red Sox, Angels, A's, or Braves in that free agents actually want to go to those teams. The Mets have a stadium that is regarded as the worst in the majors now that the Vet and Olympic Stadium are out with no light at the end of the tunnel in terms of a new one. They are coming off two last place finishes and a third place finish and need to try and establish themselves as players.

    Labrum issue or not, this deal is good for the Mets. The Red Sox would not have been insane to lock him up for three years, but the Mets add a year because they are going to have to overpay for any free agent for the next few years and they are out of their minds. It looks like the Red Sox are out of theirs heading into the season with Curt Schilling, David Wells, Tim Wakefield and Bronson Arroyo. That won't cut it. The Red Sox need to make a move if they plan on getting back to the World Series....or even the playoffs for that matter. With Curt unlikely for opening day, they are probably going to try and make a move, but if they fail, the Mets will have a better pitching staff end to end.

    Omar is anything but insane. They guy took a gamble and it looks like one they had to take. It is not about the back pages in my opinion, it's about making the team better and Pedro does that. Pedro is not 'done' he is still one of the leagues premier pitchers. He's going to have an MRI so all those columnists will have to find something else to complain about. This move is good for the Mets even if the does not pitch in the fourth year of his contract. Hell, it may be a good move if he doesn't pitch the last two years of the contract as long it opens some players eyes that his may be a place to come and he can help rack up some wins over the next two years. People are talking about Pedro as if he did not still own a K/9 that is over 9 or he was not 2nd in the league in K’s. Unreal. His numbers still speak for themselves. Is he the same pitcher he was in 1999? No way. But anytime you can add a pitcher who is head an shoulders better than any pitcher you’ve had in almost the last 20 years, you’ve succeeded at something. To some this was a desperate move and to a certain extent it was, but the Mets needed to put their name back on the baseball map and this is a start.

    * * *
  • Straight from the horses mouth.

    "I only hope to honor my contract and to fulfill the expectations," Martinez said on television in the Dominican Republic. "We got what we wanted. The team and I are happy with everything."

    "The bigger the contract, the bigger the responsibility," Martinez said.

  • Kevin Kernan has a great outlook on the Pedro deal.

  • Mike Vaccaro is the smartest man on the planet.

  • "When my sister came home from school," Martinez once recalled, "She would find her doll with no head and would scream out, 'Mommy, Mommy!' and we would get in trouble."


  • Tuesday, December 14, 2004

    Pedro Redux

    Omar finally made his splash with his reeling in of Pedro Martinez. The Mets succeeded in bringing a bona fide ace, I don’t think anyone can argue that. Pedro immediately becomes the best pitcher that Mets have and the best pitcher the Mets have had since Dwight Gooden. However, people can argue the terms and length of the deal and how that could negatively affect the team two years from now. I think the consensus is not so much worried as the first two years as the final two years. I’m not so sure that should be a concern. In 2006, the Mets only have about $57.50 million in committed payroll including Pedro and Benson as of right now. That number is significantly reduced to about $35 million in committed payroll in 2007 with only $25.5 million in committed payroll in 2008. I know 2008 is far down the line and the Mets will have taken on other contracts right by then driving up that figure, but the Mets have payroll flexibility and will have it for the foreseeable future. After 2005, the Mets will only have one or two players (two if they pick up an outfielder or first baseman that costs more than $10 mill, one if they don’t) that have salary over $10 million. Basically the Mets could stretch the 2005 payroll if they needed to another $20 million in free agents this off season and be bit above their budget this season and large amount under budget in 2006 with not many pieces to add. As of right now, the only spots not occupied for the next two seasons outside the some bullpen and some bench openings are RF and 1B, and those should be filled this off season as well (counting Floyd in the mix and Piazza either re-signing or running with Phillips/Wilson in 2006, and Glavine in 2006 for the rotation). The Mets will be gaining payroll flexibility while not having to add many pieces. Throw into that equation some pitchers in Humber, Petit, Soler, Bannister and Keppel, and some position players like Victor Diaz, Lastings Milledge, Aarom Baldiris, etc. that will be taking over for some high priced veterans down the line and you have a nice balance of free agents injected with cheap home grown talent. Keeping the payroll manageable so you can bring in the big ticket free agents when you need to with a good farm system is a start for a sustained winner. They Mets can have that if they play their cards right.

    The Mets can afford this deal and they could still afford to add another big bat in the outfield while going on the cheap with Mientkiewcz or Olerud on the infield or vice versa. While a run at Beltran is not inconceivable, I do not think anyone knows if Omar has him on the radar. This contract, while could end looking really bad in 2007 and 2008, will not hamstring the team’s finances and preclude them from adding payroll in the future even if he becomes less effective or injured towards the end. Pedro would not have been my first choice for the risk and the money, but you will not find me complaining as it does bring the Mets a certain type of legitimacy and the reward is high. It brings a guy in who could be dominating in 2005 and it significantly upgrades the rotation with a difference maker and may make the Mets a more attractive place to certain players whether it be in 2005 or 2006. Will he bring his El Diva attitude? I hope so. I want a player with some personality. I want a player that is going to be competitive and add some fire while not being afraid to come inside on a batter. Pedro has that, he’s a fierce competitor. Pedro is a lot of things, some good and some bad, and one of the good things is that he has pride and never backs down. I have no doubt he is going to be a benefit to this Met team, the question is for how long.

    Now to that outfield…..

    * * *

    Anyone else think Willie is happy that Zim is not the bench coach?

  • David Ortiz called it. Ortizzle said "He ain't going to no Mets”. Who knew he’d be right? Certainly not Bob Klapisch.....

    Pedro to Shea? Even Minaya's friends suggested he stop, exhale slowly and ask why Martinez would leave a world championship team and a loyal fan base.

    and certainly not me. Omar can kindly extend his middle finger to anyone who doubted him. I could not see this one coming. I thought after the Pavano to the Yankees deal (or soon to be deal) Pedro would be priority #1 for them. I am dumbfounded.

    But friends of the right-hander said it would've taken a blow-away offer from the Mets to even appear on Pedro's radar screen - say, four years, $55 million - and it became obvious Friday that the Mets won't soar to those heights.

    Would four years $56 million do the job? Nothing is obvious to me anymore. With this move I all of sudden started thinking does Omar have the cajones to take Steinbrenner on and overpay for Beltran? Make no mistake, the Mets need to add some offense now. I’m sure Pedro is no dummy and he asked what Omar plans to do. Pedro likes the win and if he has any chance of racking up some W’s the Mets need to add a premium bat. Whether that be Manny, Magglio, Delgado, Drew, or Beltran, someone will be in a Met uniform. Moises alone just won’t cut it.

  • I think it was Guy Conti who pointed the similarities between Pedro and Clemen's numbers in their last year in the AL.

    Pedro: 33 games, 217 innings, 193 hits, 94 runs, 26 homers allowed, 40 BB, 239 K's, 16-9 record, 3.90 ERA, 9.42 K/9, 3.72 BB/9, .238 BAA, .299 OBP, .399 SLG

    Roger: 33 games 211.2 innings 199 hits, 92 runs, 24 homers allowed, 58 BB, 190 K's, 17-9 record, 3.91 ERA, 8.08 K/9, 3.28 BB/9, .247 BAA, .298 OBP, .396 SLG

    While I completely understand Pedro does not take care of himself in terms of off season workout regimen and Clemens has a reputation for being a workhorse, the numbers are pretty damn similar. Clemens followed up the move to the NL by posting over another K/9 and actually posted over his career average and saw a dip to .217/.289/.329 from his previous years. Pedro's ERA was his highest ever at 3.90, a figure Clemens topped six times in his career. People are very scared about his shoulder, but the fact is he may be able to do some great things at Shea for a few years. As far as his pitch count, in 2004 he averaged 105.8 pitches, which was more than Roger at 104.0. Over the past three years Pedro has averaged 102.3 pitchers per start to Roger's 104.3 pitches.

  • For all this talk the Mets are getting on how they may be getting bamboozled being the only team willing (or stupid) enough to go four years is just ridiculous. Yes the four years was more than anyone would have gave him, but when you are in the Mets shoes, that is going to be a necessary evil. Boston offered three and the Cardinals had interest in Pedro. The Mets went one extra year that they can eat if he has his arm in sling by them. Mets Network in 2006 means more cash and the ability to take a risk. Something the Red Sox and their maxed out revenues with their limited seating situation in Fenway and the St. Louis Cardinals could ill afford to do.

  • Matt Clement should send Pedro Martinez some flowers or something. With the impending signing with the Mets, he created a team in the Boston Red Sox that could use his services. He also has a team in the Angels that could stand to upgrade their rotation. Both have money to spend and both are teams that could be picked for the World Series in the pre season. Clement may actually be sniffing $10 million per year by the time the dust settles.

  • Does the Danny Kolb trade for Jose Capellan make anyone feel better about the Mets dumping Kazmir for Zambrano? I makes me feel a littler better.

  • According to the NY Post:

    The Mets may have a sleeper first base candidate. They and the White Sox are battling to sign Luis Garcia, a minor league free agent who hit .313 with 32 homers for the Dodgers' Triple-A affiliate in Las Vegas last season.

    Luis really had a breakout season in 2004. He hit 20 homers once back in 2000 and never topped 77 RBIs. In 2004 he topped 30 homers and 90 RBIs while having his highest batting average ever. I would say this would qualify as an out of the box move that has no downside at all really. They have nothing to lose with his guy who just turned 25 in November.

  • Also according to the Post:

    Mike Piazza's agent, Dan Lozano, on Piazza's role next year: "He's catching. End of story. They told Mike to put away the first baseman's mitt." Interestingly, the Angels have expressed some interest in Piazza. . . .

    The Mets remain alive in the hunt for Sammy Sosa but are long shots. They're also interested in free agent Desi Relaford as a backup infielder

    I would say there is no way Piazza won't be a Met in 2005, but I also said there is no way Pedro would be Met. No more guarantees from me.

  • Monday, December 13, 2004

    Mets 2005 through 2011 Payroll

    Mike Cameron
    Carlos Beltran
    Cliff Floyd
    Doug Mientkiewicz
    Kazuo Matsui
    Jose Reyes
    David Wright
    Mike Piazza
    Eric Valent
    A. Galaraga
    Miguel Cairo
    Joe McEwing
    Jason Phillips
    Tom Glavine
    P. Martinez
    Kris Benson
    S. Trachsel
    V. Zambrano
    Braden Looper
    Koo Dae-Sung
    Orber Moreno
    Mike DeJean
    S. Strickland
    Felix Heredia
    Total Payroll

    * Note: Payrolls as far as the luxury tax is concerned calculates using average annual values of contracts of players on 40-man rosters, earned bonuses and $9 million per team for benefits.

    * Mike Camerson has a $6.5m option for 2007
    * Koo Dai Sung has $.7m in incentives he can earn
    * Steve Tracshel has $1m w/ 160 IP in 2005; $7m option for 2006
    * Tom Glavine has a mutual option for 2006; $3m buyout; guaranteed at $10.5M if he has 600IP 2003-5 or 200IP 2005
    * Braden Looper has a $5m option for 2006
    * Kaz Matsui receives $100k each year for 500, 550 and 600 PA; Agreement to non-tender after 2006 season
    * Beltran's deal contains $22 million in deferred salary that will be paid out in the seven years after the contract expires starting July 1st in 2012 in yearly installments of $3,142,857 plus interest that will accrue at the rate of 1.7175 percent annually. New York also agreed not to offer salary arbitration at the end of the contract, meaning the Mets must decide whether to re-sign him by Dec. 7, 2011. Offering arbitration extends the deadline for re-signing until the following Jan. 8. Beltran's contract calls for his $11 million signing bonus to be paid in four installments: $5 million upon approval and $2 million each this June 15, and on Jan. 15, 2006, and Jan. 15, 2007. He gets a $10 million salary this year, $12 million in each of the following two seasons and $18.5 million in each of the final four seasons, with $8.5 million deferred annually from 2008-11. The Mets also agreed to lease for Beltran an ocular enhancer machine, a device that throws colored, numbered tennis balls to batters at 150 mph or faster
    * Doug Mientkiewicz has a $3.75m option for 2006

    Pedro Martinez a Met? Part III

    Looks to be a done deal.

    Pedro Martinez a Met? Part II

    According to Boston.com:

    Indications are that Pedro Martinez has pitched his last game as a member of the Red Sox. WBZ radio reported this afternoon that the Mets have guaranteed Martinez a fourth year and he's expected to accept the offer. ESPN's Jayson Stark and Peter Gammons also reported the Mets have guaranteed that fourth year, and Gammons also said the Red Sox believe Martinez will sign with the Mets. The Mets initially offered three years at $37.5 million plus a $12.5 million option for 2008. In response to this latest development, the Red Sox are said to be stepping up their efforts to sign free-agent shortstop Edgar Rentaria. ... Martinez has indicated he wants to decide by today whether to re-sign with the Red Sox or bolt to the Mets, a source familiar with his thinking told the Boston Globe last night. Martinez's agent, Fernando Cuza, was scheduled to meet with the Sox and Mets as he appeared to reach the final stages of negotiations with both teams. Martinez has said he wants to remain with the Sox and seemed to be seeking a number of last-minute additions before he agreed to a three-year deal worth at least $38.5 million plus $2 million in incentives to return to Boston. But with the talks at a delicate stage, the Mets had a chance to sway Martinez by further sweetening their proposal. Sox general manager Theo Epstein, who was exploring numerous deals and free agent signings on the third day of the annual winter baseball meetings, said he expected to work through the night before he returned home Monday. But Epstein said he did not expect to complete a transaction during the night and said there was a chance he would leave town without making additional news. A source close to Pedro told the Boston Herald talks with the Sox were in a "holding pattern,'' even as the Mets and the Cardinals attempted to keep themselves in the mix. An agent who has been briefed on the talks told the New York Times the sides have been unable to work out acceptable bonuses. ... The New York Times this weekend quoted Cuza as saying Pedro would wait at least until the end of the meetings to make his decision: "At the end of the meetings, we'll find out where we are and make a decision and evaluate where he'll end up," Cuza said. "But it could take longer than the weekend."

    Pedro Martinez a Met?

    Pedro has been offered a 4 year $51 mil according to ESPN Radio. Not only that, some people think he's close to accepting it.


    An agent who has dealt extensively with the Mets in recent years laughed out loud at a question posed to him here at these winter meetings yesterday:
    "So what do you think the Mets are doing?"

    "If you go up to their suite and ask them," the agent said with a dismissive wave of his hand, "they don't know what they're doing."

    It sure does seem that way. Met fans are just anxious for the Mets to make a move and all this talking Omar has done and all these people he's met with have amounted to nothing but what seems like hundreds of dead end rumors.

    The Daily News says that all indications suggest Perez will be the starter to land in Flushing, rounding out a rotation with Tom Glavine, Kris Benson, Victor Zambrano and Steve Trachsel. Perez, a 27-year-old lefthander, went 7-6 with a 3.25 ERA in 31 starts for the Dodgers last season.

    So to recap, the Mets may walk away with a pitcher that has had lukewarm interest from everyone and has only been rumored to draw interest from the Nationals and the Mets are closing in on Alou for a one year contract with a vested second year. The Mets have also jumped into the Eric Milton sweepstakes and think Shea's spacious outfield will help to cut back on his homers. However, evidence on that notion is contrary. In 200 games, he's give up 192 homers and has given up 35 or more in three of his six complete seasons in the majors. Is Milton or Perez a bad pickup? Not really, but again, not anything that will significantly upgrade this team. They do have to replace Leiter who has put up some pretty solid numbers and could conceivably actually do worse than he did.

    * * *

  • The Mets have turned their attention to Manny Ramirez. No wait, they are actually nearing a deal for Manny Ramirez. Actually they have turned down the Red Sox offer for Manny for Floyd. Ah, the rumor mill, we love it, and we hate it.

  • According to the Post:

    The Mets sat down with Barry Larkin's agent yesterday, and there is interest in Larkin as a backup infielder . . . The Mets may sign Billy Koch to a minor-league deal.

    Kock is worth the chance if there is no risk, but I have my doubts as his fastball no longer pumps into the mid to high 90's and travels as straight as an arrow. As far as Larkin? I guess it's no big deal, but I'd still rather have a shot at Rich Aurilla who I think will give more pop off the bench and be 32 years old as opposed to 40.

  • This rumor is certainly strange from NJ.com:

    Meanwhile, a report in Tokyo's Sankei Sports revealed the Mets have strong interest in another Japanese infielder, 30-year-old second baseman Iguchi Tadahito, who plays for the Daiei Hawks. In his role as international scouting director for the Montreal Expos, Minaya was said to have fallen in love with Tadahito during the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta and has been following him ever since. He recently became a free agent and has told friends he wants to play in New York.

    Is anyone else's head spinning from these rumors that make absolutely no sense? I know we hear lots of untrue things, but some things just cannot be comprehended. In the last few days Omar has said Kaz will most likely be on the team, Omar has been rumored to be moving Reyes back to 2nd and bring in Cabrera, trade Kaz for Bret Boone, bring in Iguchi Tadahito (I've read as a back up role possibly), or bring in Soriano. Either Omar is absolutely all over the place or 99% off the stuff we read has no shred of truth. I certainly hope it is the latter.

  • Until Clement is signed, I’ll keep holding out hope that Omar will strap a set on and get the best available pitcher outside of Pedro Martinez.

  • Sunday, December 12, 2004


    Omar Minaya is getting desperate. At least it looks that way to me. His top target Pedro is looking more an more like he is going back to the Red Sox. Matt Clement is going to the Angels without the Mets even making a stab at him. Sexson and Delgado have interest from the Yankees as well as many other teams. The Mets are now floating the idea of bringing in Cabrera and shifty Reyes back to 2nd base or a rumored Kaz for Bret Boone swap. Just how ridiculous would it be if the Mets moved Reyes back to 2nd after giving him shortstop again? Piazza won't call the new manager back though according to Bob Klapisch, he was on a rock radio show answering calls and alive and well and not on some beach. Isn't he supposed to be the leader of this team? The Mets are also fixated on 39 year old Alou and have floated the idea of bringing in 40 year old Barry Larkin as insurance for their middle infielders and also giving them flexibility in case they make the mistake of trading either Reys or Matsui. Now the Mets are turning to Perez, Lowe, Millwood (ugh), and Milton to round out their rotation. The have reportedly offered Carlos Delgado a three year contract and although Minaya says Riche Sexson is "in the bag", there have been no indications on which way either slugger was leading. Another rumor was floated around that Mets are trying to package up Piazza and Matsui for Manny Ramirez and Doug M, although that deal seems highly unlikely and strangely intriguing (any move that will open up a window for Reyes to move to 2nd to make room for Cabrera is a mistake and just outlines to everyone who didn't know before how screwed up this franchise is how horribly bad they are at making sound decisions). Not that the Mets had a fit, but Hudson appears headed to Dodgers in a deal centered around Edwin Jackson and Antonio Perez.

    While Minaya is having trouble getting a deal done, the team on the other side of town reeled in Pavano, Wright, brought in Felix Rodriguez, and dumped Felix Heredia on the Mets and are now eyeing Delgado, Sexson, Beltran, AJ Burnett, Randy Johnson, and Carlos Beltran. Fantastic.